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11 Nov 21. Thales and Indra Agree on Joint Development of Tactical Radio to Provide Spanish and French Armed Forces With a State-of-the-art Solution.
- The new solution will be based on a proven Thales solution. These new products will be based on Thales’ SYNAPS family of radios and a next-generation SDR system jointly developed with Indra.
- This development will be carried out under the umbrella of bilateral cooperation between the Spanish and French Ministries of Defence.
- SYNAPS radio communication systems offer the optimal combination of data speed, security and connectivity, and automatically adapt to reconfigurations of operational deployments during missions.
Thales and Indra, two of the leading companies in the high-tech defence sector in Europe, have agreed to start the joint development of the SYNAPS Multipurpose tactical radio with the aim of providing the Spanish and French Armed Forces with a common and versatile state-of-the-art solution. This development is part of the collaboration agreement, signed in September 2020 between the two companies, to offer a state-of-the-art tactical communications system to the Spanish Armed Forces.
The Indra and Thales alliance contemplates the development of new high-tech products in Spain based on Thales’ SYNAPS family of radios and a next-generation SDR system jointly developed with Indra.
This development will be carried out under the umbrella of bilateral cooperation between the French Directorate General for Armaments (DGA) and the Spanish Directorate General for Armaments and Material (DGAM) and will begin in early 2022.
Indra and Thales’ extensive knowledge in radio hardware and software, as well as their experience in operations, allow both companies to provide service support to the Spanish Armed Forces throughout the system’s life cycle.
The industrial plan associated with this new development includes its commercialization in the export market and is designed to ensure Spain’s sovereignty and autonomy, as well as to promote the specialization of national companies in activities with higher added value and their international competitiveness.
Thanks to this new development, the cooperation agreement between both companies is consolidated, strengthening the solutions portfolio and the industrial footprint of Indra and Thales in the defence sector in Spain.
Thales and Indra have already started certification processes with the national security agencies (CCN in Spain and ANSSI in France) to approve the security level of the solution.
Thales SYNAPS products are broadband software-defined tactical radios, capable of integrating battlefield digitization and C4I (Command and Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence) systems that provide information superiority to military commanders while significantly accelerating the pace of operations, enabling real-time horizontal communications between all units involved thanks to best-in-class waveform and European ESSOR interoperability.
The SYNAPS solutions’ portfolio is being deployed in France as part of the CONTACT strategic programme to equip most of the French Armed Forces platforms and proposed to the Spanish Ministry of Defence for the national tactical radio capacity renewal programmes. (Source: ASD Network)
11 Nov 21. World’s First EW System Disrupts Multiple Threats Simultaneously. Israel Aerospace Industries has unveiled the Scorpius family of Electronic Warfare (EW) systems. Scorpius is the first electronic warfare (EW) system in the world capable of simultaneously targeting multiple threats, across frequencies and in different directions. Scorpius is based on the Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) technology, which provides a breakthrough in EW performance – enabling a new generation of electronic warfare capabilities.
With AESA’s multi-beam capability, Scorpius can simultaneously scan the entire surrounding region for targets, and deploy narrowly focused beams to interfere with multiple threats across the electromagnetic spectrum. The system is able to target a range of threats, including: UAVs, ships, missiles, communication links, low probability of interception (LPOI) radars, and more. Scorpius effectively disrupts the operation of their electromagnetic systems, including radar and electronic sensors, navigation, and data communications.
Scorpius’ technological breakthrough is characterized by unprecedented receiver sensitivity and transmission power (ERP), far exceeding those of legacy EW systems. This allows Scorpius to detect multiple threats, of different kinds, simultaneously, from dramatically increased distances, and to address each threat with a customized response.
Scorpius is available across multiple domains:
Ground: Scorpius G (ground) is a ground-based EW system designed to detect and disrupt ground- and airborne threats. Scorpius-G is a mobile system, and can be quickly deployed by vehicle. Scorpius G represents a new category of air defense systems: “Soft-kill” air defense, which creates an electronic dome of protection above a wide geographic sector to neutralize a broad range of modern threats.
Naval: Scorpius N (naval) is an EW system dedicated to defending ships against advanced threats in the marine arena, including: Over-the-Horizon Anti-Ship Cruise Missiles, Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (UCAV) and airborne imaging radars. Scorpius’ extremely high range provides early detection and targeting of threats, which is essential for effective protection in the naval domain.
Air: Scorpius SP – a self-protection pod for combat aircraft, and the Scorpius SJ, a standoff jammer that disrupts enemy aerial and ground-based electromagnetic operations across a vast sector.
Training: Scorpius T (training), unveiled last month, provides EW training for pilots. Scorpius-T can emulate a variety of modern air-defense systems, simultaneously, from a single platform. Its advanced emulation capabilities support training for fifth-generation aircraft. Scorpius T made its debut during the international air force exercise Blue Flag 2021.
Adi Dulberg, General Manager, Intelligence Division, IAI:, “The modern battlefield depends on the electromagnetic domain for sensing, communications, and navigation. Protecting the use of the electromagnetic domain for our forces, while denying its use by the enemy, have become mission-critical for success in combat and for ensuring the superiority of our forces in the field. The new technology, developed by IAI’s talented engineers, tips the scale of electronic warfare, providing world-first breakthrough capabilities for electronic defense and disrupting enemy systems”. (Source: UAS VISION)
10 Nov 21. The cyber battlefield against China and Russia is constantly shifting. Here’s how the NSA is trying to stay on top. In the battle over cyberspace, adversaries to the United States are continually switching up their methods to hack U.S. systems, a senior National Security Agency official said Wednesday.
That means the U.S. must in turn keep shifting the tools and techniques it uses to counter hackers from nations like China, Russia, Iran and North Korea — and team up with the private sector to do so, David Luber, deputy director for NSA’s cybersecurity directorate, said in a panel during C4ISRNET’s CyberCon.
“Even as we’re on this call right now, the cyberspace domain is changing,” Luber said. “New malware is being released, new vulnerabilities are being discovered, and adversaries will use those vulnerabilities to gain access to our critical … Department of Defense and national security systems.”
As part of its effort to work with the private sector, Luber said NSA’s Cybersecurity Collaboration Center is developing analytics that help it sift through both government signals intelligence collected overseas and what industry analysts have spotted.
“By comparing results, we’re able to better understand the tradecraft of those adversaries, and then develop, jointly, methods to thwart their activities,” Luber said.
The NSA has published more than 50 cybersecurity advisories over the last two years to share threat intelligence with the defense industry and other organizations. Some of those advisories have gone so far as to highlight specific pieces of malware, or tactics, techniques and procedures that Russian or Chinese hackers use to try to get into sensitive networks and infrastructures, and common vulnerabilities they like to exploit.
Hackers from Iran, North Korea or non-state organizations that try to extort money using ransomware are also threats, Luber said.
Rear Adm. Mike Ryan, head of the Coast Guard’s Cyber Command, said during the same panel that while the competition to recruit in-demand cybersecurity professionals is tough, his service’s mission and the enthusiasm it breeds help make it competitive.
“People want to be part of my command,” Ryan said. “I am not going to win on the salary and compensation schemes, but I can definitely be competitive through the selfless service we enjoy from … the incredible opportunities that we allow our people to execute.”
But money never hurts — Ryan noted the Coast Guard is trying to use bonuses to attract talented candidates.
Luber said NSA has partnerships with 340 universities nationwide to encourage students to study cybersecurity. Every summer, he said, about 300 students receive 12-week internships at NSA, and 70% to 85% of those interns go on to work for NSA full-time after graduation.
NSA also is trying to encourage even younger people to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics through a program called GenCyber, which offers students from kindergarten through high school opportunities to attend summer camps focused on cybersecurity. This past summer, he said, GenCyber offered 146 camps in 46 states, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico.
“It begins early with partnerships — partnerships at K through 12, partnerships with universities, the professors, the students and the faculty — to build the next generation of cybersecurity experts to bring their talents to the National Security Agency,” Luber said. (Source: Defense News)
10 Nov 21. Pentagon ‘zero trust’ cyber office coming in December. Next month, the Pentagon will formally launch a new office dedicated to accelerating the adoption of a new “zero trust” cybersecurity model, a senior DoD official said Wednesday.
David McKeown, DoD’s chief information security officer, said the office will fall under DoD’s chief information officer and be led by a yet-to-be-named senior executive. The move is part of an acceleration to ongoing zero trust implementation spurred by the Russian-orchestrated SolarWinds intrusion of federal systems.
“We’ve redoubled our efforts, we’ve fought for dollars internally to get after this problem faster,” McKeown said at C4ISRNET’s CyberCon event. “We’re standing up a portfolio management office that will rationalize all network environments out there, prioritize and set each one of them on a path of zero trust over the coming five, six, seven years.”
Zero trust assumes no trust across networks, devices or users, and demands constant, real-time authentication of the users accessing data. It’s a departure from perimeter-based security, through which an intruder can often move freely through a network after penetrating it.
McKeown said that while DoD has adopted some components that are meant to work together to create a “zero trust” environment, it’s not being prescriptive about the products its enclaves choose to adopt, as long as those products work together.
“We’ve got a lot of attention on this now, and we’ve got senior leadership in the department on board and putting their money where their mouth is and helping us to implement this at a very fast pace,” he said.
His comments come nearly six months after the Biden administration’s cybersecurity order to improve protections at government agencies in the wake of the SolarWinds intrusion.
McKeown said the sophisticated attack demonstrates the lengths to which intruders will go and the need for better security. SolarWinds, he noted, was a widely trusted piece of software that nonetheless began “beaconing out” from within networks.
“We have to be able to detect something like that,” McKeown said. “Not only the external compromises but the internal malicious behavior and potential supply chain risks need to be looked at.”
“We feel like zero trust is the only solution out there right now that gives us a fighting chance on detecting these folks that may have a foothold on our network or this anomalous software that we’ve allowed in.” (Source: Defense News)
10 Nov 21. Allies, Partners Play Key Role in Cybersecurity, Says Official. Allies and partners play a key role in cybersecurity, said Mieke Eoyang, deputy assistant secretary of defense for cyber policy, who participated today in a virtual fireside chat at C4ISRNet CYBERCON 2021.
“We need to do a better job of understanding how we can use security cooperation and other mechanisms to help our allies and partners improve their cybersecurity. This is actually an area where we can really use industry’s help because we have tremendous capability inside the United States in terms of providing cybersecurity for large enterprises, and I would argue that some of the best talent is actually in the private sector,” she said.
Understanding where adversaries are likely to try and compromise some of those allies’ capabilities is vitally important, she said.
Regarding the workforce, Eoyang said the Defense Department is competing in the private sector for really valuable talent.
“We in the department have a mission that is unparalleled, you know that we do things that we can’t do in the private sector. So, we think that that has an appeal to it,” she said, regarding recruiting and retaining the workforce.
As for the workforce, she said there’s been a push to allow people from the private sector to join the reserves or come on active duty for a time to share their skills. “We need to think about a lifecycle approach to managing our cyber workforce. And that’s something that we’ve had conversations with Cyber Command about how to do that.”
Cybersecurity is a moving target, she noted.
“Things change all the time. Operations in the cyber domain are very different than in the physical domains because your aim point, unlike a port or an adversary military base, may not always be accessible. They flicker in and out, and, so what does that mean for our thinking and strategy given the ephemerality of that domain? That understanding of the ephemerality of the domain, I think, is a really important strategic insight that we need to figure out how to internalize and operate within for the department,” she said. (Source: US DoD)
10 Nov 21. Lockheed Martin and Keysight Test 5G Solutions for Aerospace and Defense Communications. Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT), a global security and aerospace company, and Keysight Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: KEYS), a leading provider of 5G solutions, today announced a collaboration to advance 5G in support of mission-critical communications for aerospace and defense applications. The companies are actively collaborating on a 5G.MIL™ testbed that Lockheed Martin teams will use to advance 5G capabilities for multiple applications.
“Lockheed Martin is leveraging expertise in the commercial sector to scale, adapt and integrate 5G technology rapidly and affordably across mission-critical operations across land, sea, air, space and cyber domains,” said Dan Rice, vice president for 5G.MIL Programs at Lockheed Martin. “Keysight’s end-to-end 5G test platforms, widely used commercially, provide an opportunity to develop customized solutions that meet the stringent requirements of the defense industry.”
5G brings high-speed data rates, connection density, trustworthiness and low latencies to wireless communications networks. The collaboration advances Lockheed Martin’s 5G.MIL vision to support secure and resilient connectivity for defense and national security applications. It also aims to adapt commercial 5G technology to meet tactical communications needs in terrestrial and non-terrestrial networks operated by the Department of Defense. Working with Keysight on automated test cases to evaluate cyber security and vulnerabilities across all 5G components and interfaces, Lockheed Martin is also able to determine the cyber resiliency of its 5G-enabled solutions across the lifecycle – from development through operations.
“Deployment of future-proof, seamless and secure communication links serving operations across ground, sea and air depends on the successful integration of 5G, satellite, unmanned aerial vehicle, artificial intelligence and cloud technologies,” said Vince Nguyen, general manager for Aerospace Defense Government Solutions at Keysight Technologies. “Leveraging Keysight’s portfolio of flexible, scalable, and fully automated test, measurement, verification and optimization tools, Lockheed Martin has implemented the most advanced testbed for 5G and hybrid networks that we have seen in the aerospace and defense industry.”
The testbed, which reached initial operational capability in July, will help Lockheed Martin’s 5G.MIL teams quickly verify interoperability and performance with a wide range of 5G assets and simulate reliable and secure communications. Since that time, both companies have worked together to emulate, test and validate 5G Open Radio Access Network and Non-Terrestrial Network communications. Through a strategic collaboration memorandum of understanding, the companies will incorporate additional capabilities to support emerging research and development needs and to remain current with the latest 5G advancements and beyond. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
11 Nov 21. Protecting the Hunters. BAE Systems’ ‘Hunter’ class frigate for the Royal Australian Navy is based on the company’s ‘Type-26’ class Global Combat Ship destined for the Royal Navy. The Royal Australian Navy is forging ahead with its acquisition of new frigates. What electronic warfare capabilities might protect these new ships?
The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) will start to commission the first of three ‘Hunter’ class frigates in 2031. These vessels are based on BAE Systems’ Type-26 class Global Combat Ship design. Alongside the RAN, eight similar ships will furnish the Royal Navy. Thee will replace its Type-22 Broadsword and Type-23/Duke class frigates.
Information is sporadic on the Electronic Warfare (EW) apparatus furnishing the new Australian ships. Open sources confirm that one system will be BAE Systems’ Nulka Radio Frequency (RF) decoy. Nulka was developed in Australia. The innovative decoy is designed to defeat radar-guided Anti-Shipping Missiles (AShMs). It achieves this by using a Digital Radio Frequency Memory (DRFM). Nulka has a rocket motor which propels the decoy some distance from the ship. The decoy is launched when the ships’ radar and/or Electronic Support Measure (ESM) detects an incoming AShM. After launch, the DRFM is activated. This detects radar transmissions from the AShM. The signals are sampled and are then manipulated and transmitted back to the missile.
The clever thing about Nulka is that the DRFM can alter the radar’s transmissions. By manipulating the radar signals the decoy can convince the radar that its targeted ship is moving at a particular speed. Likewise, the hostile radar waveforms can be altered to make the missile think the ship is in a particular place. At its most simplistic, the DRFM can transmit waveforms to make Nulka appear a more tempting target. This will cause the missile to lose its lock on the ship and pursue the decoy instead. Nulka decoys are already deployed by the RAN’s Hobart class destroyers, ANZAC class frigates and Canberra class amphibious assault ships.
This degree of commonality is important for two reasons: It creates economies of scale by having three ship classes all using the same AShM RF decoy type. Second, by deploying Nulka, the new frigates can provide overlapping AShM protection for other vessels in their locale.
One of the confirmed EW systems equipping the ‘Hunter’ class is the Nulka decoy soft-kill countermeasure. This is designed to lure an incoming radar-guided AShM away from the targeted ship.
Radar-guided AShMs are the predominant threat facing the RAN surface fleet. AShMs deployed with the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) are the most worrisome. The PRC is also exporting AShMs around the Asia-Pacific region and further afield. Figures obtained by the author note that the PRC exported at least 112 AShMs to Burma and Pakistan between 2019 and 2020. These exports comprised exclusively China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC) C-802 (NATO reporting name CSS-N-8 Saccade) radar-guided AShMs. Over the same timeframe orders were concluded with Thailand for 80 CASIC C-708UNA submarine-launched AShMs. These will equip the Royal Thai Navy’s three forthcoming Chinese made Type-41/Yuan class conventional hunter-killer submarines.
A plethora of systems are either in service with the PLAN or are expected to enter service in the future. Of particular concern are the CASIC YJ-12 and Hongdhu Aviation Industry Corporation YJ-91. The latter is a Chinese version of Russia’s Tactical Missile Corporation’s Kh-31 (NATO reporting name AS-17 Krypton) AShM. Both weapons are reportedly capable of speeds exceeding 2,000 knots (3,704 kilometres-per-hour). The YJ-91 may even hit speeds of 3,000kts (5,557km/h).
The People’s Republic of China’s radar-guided anti-ship missiles are one of the most serious threats the RAN may have to contend with.
Such speeds are of grave concern. They deprive a ship’s crew of valuable reaction time. To put matters into perspective, the YJ-91 has a reported range of 65 nautical miles (120 kilometres). The missile could cover this distance in circa 78 seconds. Rough measurements by the author reveal that the antennas for the Hunter classes’ CEA Technologies’ CEAFAR-2 S-band (2.3 gigahertz/GHz to 2.5GHz/2.7GHz to 3.7GHz) naval surveillance radar to be around 27.3 metres (89.6 feet) above the waterline.
Radars typically detect targets at a line-of-sight range from the antenna. Publicly available sources state that the YJ-91 has a sea-skimming altitude of 20m (66ft). The CEAFAR-2 could detect the missile at ranges of circa 16.2nm (30km). Nonetheless this would still give the crew a reaction time of a mere 19 seconds from detection to impact.
The Hunter classes’ ESM maybe able to extend this detection range a little further. ESMs tend to have a slightly longer detection range for a radar-equipped target, compared to a radar per se. However, this is unlikely to add more than a few seconds additional reaction time at best. A high reliance will therefore be placed upon the ESM detecting incoming radar-equipped targets before the CEAFAR-2.
CEA Technologies’ phased array radars are used on the ANZAC Class frigates, and will be used on the upcoming Hunter Class frigates, for which prototyping will start next year.
To further complicate matters, the radars equipping these missiles will almost certainly be transmitting Low Probability of Detection/Interception (LPD/I) waveforms. It will be imperative that the ESM can detect and recognise these LPD/I transmissions. These waveforms will typically be very discrete, hidden amongst the earth’s prevailing and omnipresent electromagnetic noise. They will enhance their discretion by using other LPD/I techniques like frequency hopping. Frequency hopping ensures that the radar’s transmissions do not remain on one frequency for more than a matter of milliseconds. The ESM will therefore need to include the latest electronic intelligence analysis software. This software will no doubt embrace techniques like Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence (ML/AI). These will be key to performing the highly complex calculations required to rapidly recognise these radar signals. Capabilities which eclipse those of the human brain.
Once the radar and/or ESM determine that a radar-guided AShM is incoming, the ship will initiate its hard-kill and soft-kill response. The ESM will trigger an Electronic Countermeasure (ECM). This will either blind the missile’s radar seeker with noise, or lure it aware from the ship with deception jamming. The jamming maybe used alongside Nulka and conventional chaff countermeasures. Chaff uses thousands of metal strips cut to one half or one quarter the wavelength they are intended to jam. These strips are dispersed into the atmosphere. There, they form a cloud. These clouds are intended to fool the radar into thinking that it has found its target. Alternatively, the clouds may prove a more tempting target than the ship. Radar corner reflectors may also be used. These are inflatable dodecahedron shapes deployed on the surface some distance between the ship and missile. The sharp angular surfaces of the reflectors deflect the radar transmissions of the AShM away from its radar. This deprives the radar of a view of its target. Hard-kill countermeasures like Close-In Weapons Systems (CIWSs) will also be brought to bear. These will engage the missile with tens of rounds-per-second, shredding it into scrap metal. The Hunter class will be equipped with Raytheon’s Phalanx series CIWS.
There are two other major considerations for the Hunter classes’ EW systems. The first is saturation. A hypothetical confrontation between the RAN and PLAN would likely witness AShM salvo attacks by the latter. This would be done deliberately to overwhelm the hard- and soft-kill measures of individual ships. Both the ECM and ESM, alongside soft-kill decoys like Nulka will need to engage multiple, fast-moving incoming threats.
Second, the PRC is almost certainly equipping its state-of-the-art AShMs with Millimetric Wave (MMW) radar. Such radars transmit on frequencies of 30GHz and above. These radars transmit in wavelengths measured in millimetres. The short wavelengths of MMW transmissions provide highly detailed radar images for the missile. This means that the radar can match its radar picture with a preloaded radar image of the targeted vessel. This improves the weapon’s accuracy by helping it determine the optimum point of impact on the ship. It can also help the missile distinguish between decoys and the ship itself. The EW systems of the Hunter class will need to discern MMW radar transmissions and be capable of jamming these.
How much is the RAN likely to spend on the new frigates’ EW systems? The following figures assume that the new systems are bought off-the-shelf and adopted to Australian requirements. Developing new systems from scratch would incur significant additional costs. The author’s own figures note that, on average, a decoy launcher for a large surface combatant has an average unit price of $2.8m. Assuming a minimum of two launchers equipping each vessel, decoy launcher expenditure per ship could be circa $6m. This would result in around $18m being spent on decoy launchers across the class of three ships.
Secondly, each ship in the class will have an ESM. These have an average unit price of circa $5.5m. Therefore, the ESM fit across the fleet will be worth $16.5m. The ESM will work with an ECM, the latter of which will have an average unit price of $1.9m. This could result in a spend of $4.5 m across the class. Taking the cost of the decoy launcher, ESM and ECM together, the EW expenditure for each ship could be at least $12m. Correspondingly this results in a possible $36m of EW system expenditure across the class.
AMR contacted BAE Systems to ascertain timelines for the selection and installation of electronic warfare equipment for the Hunter class. The company directed all inquiries to the Australian Department of Defence (DOD). AMR contacted the DOD for the same information. No responses to our questions were received by the time we went to press. It is entirely possible that the DOD has yet to select the precise systems to equip the Hunter class. As of August 2021, it appears that the only system selected so far is Nulka. That said, work will continue defining the ship’s EW systems. We can expect further announcements to this effect in the coming months. (Source: Armada)
10 Nov 21. ‘Persistent Engagement’ Strategy Paying Dividends, Says Cybercom General. In 2018, the Defense Department issued its Cyber Strategy report, which charges U.S. Cyber Command with defending forward and persistent engagement. Air Force Lt. Gen. Charles “Tuna” Moore, deputy commander of Cybercom, provided keynote remarks today at the virtual C4ISRNet CYBERCON 2021 event.
Defending forward, he said, is “getting into the space of our adversaries, so that we can better defend the United States and our allies as well as our interests.”
Persistent engagement, he said, “essentially says we want to be in constant contact with our adversaries. We want to be in a proactive posture and not in a reactive posture.”
Moore provided some examples of the strategy.
Regarding criminal activities in cyberspace such as ransomware attacks, Moore said that the National Security Agency, along with Cybercom, are partnered with the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other agencies, along with allies and partners, to help thwart these attacks. Cybercom is very much focused on election security in the United States, he said, adding that if the command detects malware and election threats to allies and partners, it has been willing to share some of its intelligence with them and help them address those vulnerabilities.
China remains the nation’s pacing challenge, he said.
“The main thing that we’re seeing from China inside the cyber domain is a lot of intellectual property theft that continues to occur. I don’t have specific numbers, but I can tell you that I think you’re talking about hundreds of billions of dollars in savings probably over the last decade plus. And, they probably saved decades of time from an R&D perspective, stealing intellectual property specific to the Department of Defense, from our DIB,” he said, meaning research and development theft from the defense industrial base.
Therefore, Cybercom is working with the defense industrial base to protect intellectual property and stop them from being able to gain advantages, he said.
Also, China has global aspirations from a military and economic perspective, not just in the Indo-Pacific region, he said. They also have global vulnerabilities. Thus, working through allies and partners is a way to take advantage of their vulnerabilities.
Cybercom has an incredible workforce, he said. The command has been instructed to empower these individuals, listen to their ideas and employ them as appropriate. Also, the command has invited academia, the private sector and allies to share their innovative ideas and solutions. (Source: US DoD)
10 Nov 21. Collins tests system to enable connectivity in CJADC2 battlespace. Directional communication system is designed to reduce the risk of detection and interference in contested environments.
Collins Aerospace has demonstrated a new directional communication system to enable connectivity in the Combined Joint All Domain Command and Control (CJADC2) battlespace.
The demonstration was a part of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)’s Pheme project.
Collins’ technology is developed to enable small platforms such as uncrewed aerial systems to communicate covertly in battlefields or other contested environments.
Conventional communication systems radiate energy in several directions, which increases the risk of detection and interference.
However, the directional communication system uses 5G technology to emit energy only in the direction of the receivers, which significantly restricts the ability of adversaries to access communications.
During the demonstration, the technology enabled video and control data exchange between an airborne radio in a 5in pod and a ground radio with minimal detection.
This technology is expected to help military forces make better decisions based on increased situational awareness and ground data.
Collins Aerospace Communication, Navigation and Guidance Solutions vice-president and general manager Ryan Bunge said: “This demonstration represents a significant step forward in enabling platforms to operate in contested environments in a very aggressive SWaP envelope.
“For decades we’ve leveraged our expertise to develop and deliver open, modular communications and connectivity systems in all form factors that will help our customers keep pace with evolving threats and technologies across multiple platforms.”
A unit of Raytheon Technologies, Collins Aerospace focuses on developing technologically advanced and intelligent solutions for the global aerospace and defence industry.
Last month, it opened a new Customer Experience Center to support crucial US Army Aviation initiatives. (Source: army-technology.com)
09 Nov 21. Black Sage’s Goshawk™ Delivers EW Jamming for the United States Air Force at Ranges Exceeding 35km. Black Sage’s multi-mission Goshawk™ Long Range EW Jammer successfully passed an initial evaluation conducted in collaboration with the United States Air Force. In this case, Black Sage’s Goshawk™ Long Range Jammer and DefenseOS® command and control software is an integrated system providing enhanced degraded GPS training for United States Air Force pilots. The enemy’s ability to deny or degrade the United States Air Force’s GPS instrumentation presents risk to mission execution. For this reason, the capacity to operate in GPS degraded environments represents an essential element in USAF pilot training. The Goshawk™ Long Range EW Jammer is a directional non-kinetic effector. The system has the capability to disrupt GNSS signals for enemy military aircraft and UAS Groups 1-5. This capability means the Goshawk™ Long Range EW Jammer is ideal for the United States Air Force’s degraded GPS training.
“Black Sage’s C-UAS system, featuring the Goshawk™ Long Range Jammer, is an ideal fit to deliver a degraded GPS training system for the United States Air Force,” said Trent Morrow, Black Sage’s Chief Strategy Officer. “The system will significantly decrease the USAF’s required cost and advance notice to schedule GPS degraded training.”
The United States Air Force’s current degraded GPS training systems operate with GPS jammers focused on a fixed zone. Aircraft are required to fly through the zone to experience GPS signal denial or degradation.
During an initial United States Air Force evaluation of Goshawk™, the system delivered directional EW jamming beyond 35km. The promising results offer the United States Air Force the capability to increase the amount of time military aircraft experience GPS signal denial or degradation while reducing collateral effects on civilian use of GPS instrumentation, including commercial and private aircraft.
The United States Air Force and other branches of the US military conduct degraded GPS training exercises at military facilities and testing areas across the United States. These training exercises may cover several states at one time.
While the Federal Aviation Administration releases advisory notices regarding the scheduling of the US military’s degraded GPS training exercises, both commercial airlines and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association are concerned with the risk posed to non-military aircraft. Black Sage’s degraded GPS training system offers the potential to mitigate or eliminate these concerns.
About Goshawk™ Long Range Jammer
Black Sage’s Goshawk™ Long Range Jammer has the capability to disrupt GNSS signals at a maximum range exceeding 35km. Goshawk™ is a directional jammer, so collateral effects related to friendly force operations are minimal or nonexistent. This system has the capability to disrupt GNSS signals for military aircraft and UAS Groups 1-5. In addition to jamming enemy aircraft and UAS, the Goshawk™ will be utilized to provide degraded GPS training for US military pilots.
About Black Sage
Black Sage is a multi-mission platform provider focused on Counter Unmanned Aircraft Systems and security solutions serving military, internal security, and critical infrastructure protection missions. Our open architecture DefenseOS® command and control software delivers CUAS automation, including AI/ML automated target discrimination and threat evaluation, ISR functionality, EW and kinetic effectors. DefenseOS® and Sawtooth™, Black Sage’s modular hardware platform, have integrated over 40 sensor and effector systems.
09 Nov 21. £100m investment for maritime electronic warfare capabilities. £100m contract awarded to Babcock, Elbit Systems UK and QinetiQ to upgrade maritime electronic warfare. Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) have awarded a £100m contract to a Babcock-led partnership with Elbit Systems UK and QinetiQ to deliver cutting-edge electronic warfare (EW) systems to the Royal Navy. The EW technology will allow more simultaneous detection and identification of radio signals over a greater frequency range than current capabilities. This will aid faster operational decision-making, enhanced situational awareness and anti-ship missile defence capability. Around 170 jobs are expected to be created and sustained across the UK by the 13-year contract, mainly in the South West of England, ranging from manufacturing to software development roles.
Defence Secretary of State Ben Wallace said: “In a world of rapidly evolving threats, these enhancements will upgrade the Royal Navy with pioneering radar detection capabilities maintaining the UK’s operational advantage at sea. The £100-m investment with key industry partners will underpin vital defence outputs whilst supporting jobs and investment in the South-West of England.”
This is the first phase of a £500m Maritime Electronics Warfare Programme (MEWP) to deliver battle-winning operational advantage on Type 45, 26 and 31 frigates, as well as the Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers.
Senior Responsible Owner for the programme, Royal Navy Commodore Steve Prest, said: “The ability to understand and exploit the increasingly complex electro-magnetic environment is critical for the operational success of the Royal Navy.
“This technology will deliver a generational leap in our electronic warfare capabilities to ensure we maintain the operational advantage we need well into the 21st century.”
Rear Admiral Jim Higham, DE&S Director Ship Support, said: “I am delighted to have achieved contract award and look forward to working with Babcock, Elbit and QinetiQ. Now the real work begins – delivering this crucial capability to the frontline to time and cost and supporting the men and women of the Royal Navy in what they deliver for our nation.”
Babcock, Elbit and QinetiQ will work as one team with DE&S, the Navy and Dstl (Defence Science and Technology Laboratories) to design, manufacture, deliver and integrate the capability before providing in-service support for the duration of the contract. Strengthening maritime capabilities ensures the Royal Navy are spearheading innovation and are prepared for new and emerging threats. This ambition, outlined in the Defence Command Paper, is reinforced by the £24bn increase in defence spending over the next four years. (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
08 Nov 21. US Air Force moves ahead with new SIGINT sensor prototypes. The US Air Force (USAF) is moving headlong into the prototype phase of the service’s new, open architecture-based signals intelligence (SIGINT) programme, tapping Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems to develop the sensor hardware and networking backbone in support of the effort. Engineers at BAE Systems and Northrop Grumman will provide prototype SIGINT sensor platforms for the USAF’s Global High-altitude Open-system Sensor Technology (GHOST) programme, according to statements by both defence companies. Based on a scalable, open systems architecture and an expeditionary chassis, the eventual SIGINT sensor platform fielded under the GHOST programme will enable service officials to employ the sensor on a variety of manned and unmanned aerial systems within the USAF’s intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) arsenal.
Company officials at BAE Systems are preparing its “Phase One” offering for the GHOST programme, focusing on “a sensor prototype that … will exploit the radio-frequency (RF) spectrum, critical to battlefield superiority, to detect, identify, locate, and track RF emissions”, according to a company statement. For their part, Northrop Grumman programme officials are preparing a phase one offering that will incorporate “airborne and ground components” to meet the GHOST programme requirements, a company statement said. (Source: Jane’s)
08 Nov 21. A4ESSOR and OCCAR sign procurement contract for ENC project. The joint venture company will also work on improving the pre-existing ESSOR framework. Multinational joint venture Alliance for ESSOR (a4ESSOR) has signed a procurement contract with the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR). The contract is related to the ESSOR New Capabilities (ENC) project and has obtained funding from the European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP). It follows EDIDP ESSOR’s ‘Grant Agreement’ signed by OCCAR and partners in July last year. Non ESSOR nations based firms Telespazio Belgium and Edisoft (Portugal) will take part in the contract. Telespazio is a joint venture (JV) between Leonardo (67%) and Thales (33%). The ENC project aims to develop three new secure and interoperable waveforms namely, ESSOR NBWF, ESSOR 3DWF and ESSOR SATCOM WF. Furthermore, the alliance will also improve the ESSOR Framework. This work will support the portability of the waveforms on national radio terminals. It will also help in handling the waveforms throughout their entire lifecycles.
a4ESSOR president and general manager Lino Laganà said that the contract will contribute to the realisation of the common European defence.
He said: “It is a privilege and a great responsibility to run these new projects funded by the European Commission and six ESSOR nations.”
The six ESSOR countries are Italy, France, Spain, Poland, Germany and Finland. In May this year, the joint venture received formal acceptance for ESSOR High Data Rate (HDR) Base Waveform. The EDIDP is a European Union industrial programme, funded by the European Commission. It is a preparatory phase of the European Defence Fund (EDF). ESSOR programme was launched in 2009 and aims to develop pan-European SDR technology. (Source: army-technology.com)
05 Nov 21. Hensoldt Simulates Defence Systems of the Future. Technology project “GhostPlay” of Helmut Schmidt University Hamburg analyses effects of artificial intelligence on military operations. The sensor solution provider HENSOLDT is developing new AI-based decision-making processes for military operations as part of the “GhostPlay” project. This is intended to support military action at the tactical level at the highest operational speed using a synthetic simulation environment. The innovative technology project, conducted in cooperation with Helmut Schmidt University, Hamburg, will run until the end of 2024 and is funded by the Centre for Digitisation and Technology Research of the Bundeswehr (DTEC.Bw). The subject of the research will be, among other things, the extent to which military operations and decisions can be accelerated by AI and what opportunities and risks arise from this. Among other things, it will be examined how AI-based decision support can support the sensor-effector network of a swarm of unmanned systems in complex missions to suppress enemy air defences (SEAD) and how the interaction of the individual components of a defence system can be optimised. At the same time, the ethical aspects that need to be taken into account will be investigated. HENSOLDT brings to this technology project its experience with the application of AI mechanisms in the evaluation of reconnaissance data, with the networking of sensors and effectors, and with simulation techniques in product development and resource management. HENSOLDT leads a strong team with 21Strategies GmbH for AI-based decision algorithms in the finance and defence environment, Borchert Consulting & Research AG for strategy, concept and scenario development and the Fraunhofer Institute for Communication, Information Processing and Ergonomics (FKIE) for sensor data fusion and technology consideration. (Source: ASD Network)
05 Nov 21. a4ESSOR S.A.S (Alliance for ESSOR), a multinational joint venture that is developing secure European Software Defined Radio (SDR) technology, has signed a procurement contract with the European intergovernmental Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR) to carry out the ESSOR New Capabilities (ENC) project. The initiative has received funding from the European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP) under grant agreement No 044.ENC aims to develop three new waveforms – ESSOR NBWF, ESSOR 3DWF and ESSOR SATCOM WF – that will increase the interoperability of European Armed Forces. In addition, the project will also see the alliance enhance the ESSOR Framework, in order to manage the waveforms throughout their whole life cycles and ensure their interoperability when ported on national radio terminals.
Mr. Lino Laganà, President and General Manager of a4ESSOR, stressed that the new contract is one of the key enablers of the common European defence. He said that it is a privilege and a great responsibility to run these new projects funded by the European Commission and six ESSOR nations, Italy, France, Spain, Poland, Germany and Finland, following the successful work achieved on the first ESSOR Wide Band Waveform and ESSOR Framework.
The new project forms part of the ESSOR programme, which is aimed at improving the interoperability and security of tactical land (ESSOR WBWF and ESSOR NBWF), Air-Ground-Air (ESSOR 3DWF), and satellite communications (ESSOR SATCOM WF). Ensuring the compliance with ESSOR and Software Communication Architecture (SCA)-based software-defined radio platforms, and applying a very strict methodology of qualification of the interoperability between all the radios that host these waveforms, the programme guarantees an effective interoperability of the Forces on the field. The procurement contract follows EDIDP ESSOR’s Grant Agreement, which OCCAR, on behalf of the European Commission, and the partners signed last July. It will include the participation of new companies from non-ESSOR nations, namely Telespazio Belgium, a subsidiary of Telespazio (joint venture between Leonardo, 67%, and Thales, 33%), and Edisoft (Portugal). The EDIDP, preparatory phase of the European Defence Fund (EDF), is a European Union industrial programme funded by the European Commission to support the competitiveness and innovative capacity of the union’s defence industry.
Spectra Group Plc
Spectra Group (UK) Ltd, internationally renowned award-winning information security and communications specialist with a proven record of accomplishment.
Spectra is a dynamic, agile and security-accredited organisation that offers secure Hosted and Managed Solutions and Cyber Advisory Services with a track record of delivering on time, to spec and on budget.
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